Friday, December 21, 2012

Mr. Bojangles

During my high school days, my two favorite songs on my dad's jukebox at Mulligan's Bar were the Piano Man by Billy Joel and Me and Bobby Mcgee, sung by Janis Joplin.  I think Mr. Bojangles was one of the selections although my brothers and I overlooked it when we were there early in the morning on weekends to clean the bathrooms.

This morning, my wife heard the song in her head and asked me to play a YouTube video.  I selected a version by Sammy Davis Jr. that appears below.  "Mr. Bojangles" was a fictional name used by a homeless Caucasian male to conceal his true identity from police.  Jerry Jeff Walker met this man while in jail for public intoxication.  The story in the song about the dog is true and the dance at the end was performed to lighten the mood after the homeless man told his touching story that inspired the hit song.

For me, Mr. Bojangles is a reminder of another man I knew who lived in his own prison cell for many years grieving his own personal losses.  I will call him Mr. Bojangles to protect his true identity.  The Bojangles I knew had a way of entertaining others with his own sort of dance.  Like entertainers Janis Joplin and Sammy Davis Jr.,  the Mr. Bojangles I knew is no longer with us.  The song below is dedicated to all the people in this world who are grieving the loss of someone special and to a beloved entertainer who danced in order to distract us from any pain we may be experiencing during this Holiday season.

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